HOOVER, Ala. — Florida tackle Martez Ivey was explaining just how loud and intense The Swamp can be when Neyland Stadium entered the conversation.
Tennessee’s home stadium is the one Ivey said most closely compares with the volume and intensity at the Gators’ home field in Gainesville.
“The [Florida] stadium itself, the fans are right there on top of us,” Ivey said, asked at SEC Media Days to explain what The Swamp is like. “One of the memories I have was [against] Ole Miss [in 2015], the crowd was like in me, it was so loud at one point I couldn’t hear anything, I felt like the crowd was shaking me.
“The roar of the crowd, I felt movement in my body, I was vibrating.”
When asked if there was any other stadium that compared, Ivey mentioned Neyland Stadium during the Vols’ comeback from a 21-3 halftime deficit to 38-28 win.
“At times last year, toward the second half of Tennessee, they have a lot of fans, that stadium is pretty big, too,” Ivey said. “When they get loud, I mean …. so it was pretty much the same at Tennessee because they hadn’t beat Florida in how many years, and the fans and the atmosphere, if you were a Tennessee fan or Tennessee player, it had to be great for them.
“But nothing tops Florida.”
In the first half of the 2016 game, many Vols fans booed their team as they ran into the tunnel for halftime.
That changed when Josh Dobbs engineered five touchdown drives in the second half as the offense, still healthy at that point, erupted for 35 points against what was then the No. 1-ranked defense in the nation.
The Vols play the Gators in Gainesville on Sept. 16 this season looking to snap a six-game losing streak at The Swamp that dates to QB Casey Clausen leading Tennessee to a 24-10 win in 2003.
Ivey made it clear Florida feels pretty good about its offense, and it will play very hard to defend its home turf.
“I can’t name many people that are going to stop us,” Ivey said. “Our wide receivers, our running backs, O-line, quarterbacks … the sky is the limit.
“When it comes down to playing at home you definitely have to take that personal — that’s where we work out every day, that’s where we put our blood, sweat and tears at. That’s our home, we don’t want anybody coming in and robbing us on our home field.”